Monday, March 31, 2008

The Best Fracking Weekend Ever

Ladies and Gents, we stand on the edge of a new frontier. Starting this Friday, we bid a fond farewell to a spectacular 2nd season of Torchwood with what promises to be the best episode of the season. But shed no tears, for the next day, April 5, 2008, our main man THE DOCTOR returns to our screens as Series 4 of Doctor Who makes its much anticipated debut.

So expect multiple reviews this weekend on the blog, one of Torchwood and Doctor Who and (maybe) a review of Torchwood Series 2 as a whole. And as we get further into a Doctor Who dominated season, I will consider starting up my plans to go back and review season 1 of Torchwood, but we'll see.

(And pardon the "frack" reference, but Battlestar Galactica starts on Friday as well and I'm pretty excited)

Get ready and hang on for one hell of a ride.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Torchwood S02E12-Fragments

During a mission to investigate mysterious alien readings, Jack, Tosh, Owen and Ianto are lured into a trap involving four explosive devices. The devices go off and trap an already seperated team under tons of rubble. As Gwen and Rhys hurry to save them, the team sees their lives flash before their eyes; or to be more precise, the moments where they joined together under Jack in Cardiff. As the past comes to light, a deadly spectar returns with plans for the future, or a lack of one for Torchwood.

Well, after nearly two years of waiting, the big anthology episode has finally aired. At last, the past has been revealed and let me tell ya, a lot makes sense now. It was a lot of fun seeing the team in the lives prior to Torchwood. Granted we knew a bit about Jack before Torchwood from Doctor Who, but we finally learn how he joined up with them back when Torchwood was still the jerks who were prone to bringing about the apocalypse. Which reminds me, this is the first episode in which The Doctor is mentioned by his proper title; not the right kind of Doctor, not my Doctor, THE Doctor. At last, the series have been tied together. And also, the mysterious origin of Jack's famous warning about the 21st century is finally revealed, in a very sad turn of events.

And what of the rest of the team? Well, it was pretty surprising over all what happened to them in the past. Tosh was rescued and imprisoned by U.N.I.T for aiding terrorists to save her mother; Ianto was looking for a new purpose in the aftermath of the Cybermen/Dalek War that destroyed Torchwood One; and Owen discovered something incredible at the cost of someone he loved dearly. Out of all of these, I liked Ianto's and Owen's stories the best. Owen's situation does give his gruff and heartless persona from Series 1 a legitimate excuse. And Ianto, well, not only did he hire himself on to be a butler (he said it, not me), but he went to the ultimate lengths to join the team, and bring them a pet Pterodactyl. And watching him and Jack flirt in the old days was fun as well. And Tosh, well, her lonliness makes sense, being locked up in a U.N.I.T. cell for God knows how long. Who knew U.N.I.T. could be that cold hearted, it's a wonder Martha is still with them.

And finally, Captain John Hart is back, the true reason for nearly killing Torchwood. He's found Grey and he's ready to raise hell. But why? What did Jack do to piss him off this much? What does John have in mind? And will anyone live long enough to get all of the answers? In two weeks, the review will be posted of the sure to be fantastic Torchwood Series 2 Finale.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Torchwood S02E11-Adrift

When a series of missing person's report goes from one to hundreds in a matter of months, PC Andy calls in his old friend Gwen Cooper to help. AS Gwen delves into the case, she learns that all of these disappearences are in one way or another linked to the Cardiff Rift. But the closer she gets to the truth, one obstacle stands in her way...Jack. Jack knows something and he is refusing to help, warning Gwen to stay away from this case. Will Gwen like what she finds at the end of this story? If Jack's warning is any indication, probably not.

I wasn't really sure how to feel after this episode. While it was WAY better than last week's abismal clown centered episode, it was still pretty depressing. It was the closest this season has come to the overall somber and downbeat feel of season 1. But that's not to say it was terrible, far from it as a matter of fact. While these stories will leave you down in the dumps for an hour or so, there's no denying that these are the stories Torchwood does best.

If you haven't guessed already, this is a Gwen heavy episode. Since joining Torchwood at the beginning of the series, she has changed dramatically, just like everyone else. But as much as she has become the heart of Torchwood (whereas Jack is its undying soul, no pun untended), her job has tested her relationships on all levels, professionally and personally. And sometimes, as she learns, even doing the right thing can be just as bad as bestowing the ultimate punishment on an innocent person. Still, she still has Rhys and old friends like Andy (in his first real and fleshed out appearence since his introduction in season 1) to point her in the right direction. And big props to both characters who really know how to stick it to Gwen when she needs to be scolded. It takes guts and only a husband and best friend know how to do that best.

There wasn't too much else with the team this time around. I must admit, I almost had Jack pegged for doing something really stupid this time around. But as I've come to learn, Jack knows what he is doing and should never be doubted. His involvement with this case is no different. During Doctor Who Series 3, he tells The Doctor that he remodeled his Torchwood branch in honor of his hero and friend, The Doctor. This episode shows a bit of truth to that statement and how much like our favorite Time Lord Jack tries to be to his own team. Agree or disagree, that's an arguement I leave to you dear reader. (Also, it was funny to see Gwen walk in on The Captain and Ianto actually showing off some of their after office hours activities).

Next week: ALOT OF STUFF-The Blowfish, Torchwood surrounded by Bombs, Death, Destruction, Mayhem, U.N.I.T?, and Gray? Two more episodes to go until the shocking finale. Is anyone making it out of this series alive besides Jack? And when is badass Captain John Hart plannig on coming back? I have no answers. You, like me, will just have to wait and see.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Torchwood S02E10-From Out of the Rain

The re-opening of an old cinema signals the return of some plesant memories for Ianto, a fan of old films. But a nice night at the theater turns deadly when the inhabitants of a carnival film break out via the rift and begin claiming victims to add to their unwilling, growing eternal audience. The circus troupe from hell has arrived and they're determined to add all of Cardiff to their act. That is, if Jack and Torchwood have anything to say about it.

Well, after a steady stream of good wholesome episodes, Torchwood hit a bit of a roadblock this time around. Honestly, when I saw the preview for this episode, I wasn't too excited to watch it. "From Out of the Rain" just wasn't as interesting or exciting as similar stories Torchwood has done in the past. While most episodes this season have been amped up, sometimes action filled stories, this one seemed to harken back to how Season 1 did things, steady paced mysteries with very little action. That formula worked for some of those episodes, but not all. Such is the case with this.

Now, I'm not one to nit pick with continuity issues much, but why is Gwen back from her honeymoon already? There wasn't any real need for her to be here anyway. And the villains, while creepy, were annoying and too easily dealt with (for the time being I guess). And the story ended on a bum note, which while very Torchwood, is kinda sad considering the good luck they've had recently. To this episodes credit, you may not want to step into an old fashioned cinema or visit a circus for a while after viewing this episode.

Well, this was my least favorite episode of Season 2 (yes, "To the Last Man" has been dethroned). I've seen stronger stand alone episodes from Torchwood. Here's hoping the rest of the season is way way better than this.

At least next weeks preview looked more interesting: people are vanishing, Gwen's looking into it...and Jack's trying to stop her? See ya next week.


Torchwood S02E09-Something Borrowed

It's a really big day for Gwen Cooper. After months of anticipation, her wedding day has finally arrived. It should be the most joyous of occasions...until Gwen wakes up the morning of the wedding...full term pregnant. Turns out a parasidic shape shifter has impregnated Gwen via bite and now it's partner is on its way to rip the egg out of Gwen's body. The wedding to end all weddings is about to take a style only Captain Jack Harkness and Torchwood could pull off.

Man, I wish all weddings were like this one. After the dark and spectacular Owen story arc that took up the past three episodes, it was time for a nice bit of humor and levity. This episode had everything any fan of Torchwood could want: action, romance, laughs, really big guns, and plenty of quirks from Jack.

But at the core of this episode is an honest love story between Gwen and Rhys. It is amazing the amount of development these two have gone through as a couple since the start of the season. Rhys has seen his fiancee's job, seen her brainwashed, taken a bullet for her, and now must deal with the shock of her carrying an alien egg in her belly. And after all of this, he still wants to marry Gwen, or she wants to marry him not matter what happens. Hats off to Eve Myles for making Gwen's commitment to her man so pure and honest. This must have been a hard day for Jack to endure, watching the woman he loves marry another man. Still, he lets things be as they may (something alot of guys can relate to, I'm sure). It will be interesting to see where things go from here between Jack and Gwen (the soul and heart of Torchwood respectivley).

This was arguably my most favorite episode of the season, next to "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". If you haven't watched this show yet, filled with spectacular scifi action/drama and romance, and filled with amazing characters, THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING PEOPLE??????

But yeah, awsome episode, moving on to Episode 10.